consumer duty

FCA calls on firms to “improve debt collection practices”

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has joined forces with other regulators to call on firms to improve their debt collection practices.

Together with Ofgem, Ofwat and Ofcom, the FCA urged firms to make sure customers in debt do not receive excessive communication, and that they use supportive language, clearly signpost free debt advice, and make it easy for debt advisers to contact them on behalf of clients.

This call came as consumers continue to feel the strain from cost of living pressures.

Newspage asked experts for their views, below.


Stuart Powell, managing director at Advice Guru Ltd:

“Finally, some joined up thinking. The barrage of calls, letters and emails is intimidating for anyone experiencing issues with repaying bills.

“Those who find themselves in this awful predicament rarely have issues with repaying one bill, instead the debt spiral affects all their commitments.

“I often visit clients who are experiencing mental health difficulties caused and exacerbated by individual firms chasing their money.

“A unified and coherent solution to support those in debt is long overdue.”

Graham Cox, director at SEMH Self-Employed Mortgages:

“As bankruptcies and arrears soar due to the cost-of-living crisis, it’s vital debt collectors and other bodies treat people fairly and with respect.

“It must be a horrible situation for anyone to feel overwhelmed by their debts, and it’s incumbent on the regulators to drive out bad practice and operators.

“There are still far too many horror stories of debt collectors bombarding debtors with home visits, calls and letters.”

Mark Robinson, managing director at Albion Forest Mortgages:

“With mental health awareness week coming soon in May, it is refreshing to see the FCA joining other regulators in ensuring debts are collected in the right way.

“The cost of living crisis has put huge pressures on tens of thousands of people, and they need to know if the worst happens and they are unable to repay their debt, it will be collected fairly.”